Teachers & Staff
Loyan Beausoleil

Loyan Beausoleil

Director and Head Teacher

Loyan Beausoleil is the school’s director and head teacher of the Orange Room. She has been with UPNS since 1999. Loyan holds a BFA from the University of Oregon and an M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education. Loyan also holds the New York State Children’s Program Administrator credential. She has published on children and trauma, play and separation anxiety with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Concerned Educators Allied for a Safe Environment and Bank Street College of Education. She also has a strong background in art, having worked as an art teacher, a studio artist and in the theater and fashion industries. Following September 11, 2001, Loyan began documenting and studying the effects of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on young children who experienced them first-hand, a project called The Youngest Witnesses. She presented this work at Wheelock College in Boston, the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in New York City and Chicago, the Playing for Keeps conference at Yale University, the Kentucky State conference on Early Childhood Education and at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. Segments about this work have been featured on NY1, Good Morning America, and the CBS Early Show. A chapter by Loyan on the project is included in the award-winning book Forever After: New York City Teachers on 9/11, a compilation of teachers’ experiences of 9/11, published by Teachers College Press in 2006. She is co-author of the book Games That Sing: 25 Activities to Keep Children on Their Toes, published by Heritage Music Press, 2011. Games That Sing focuses on using movement, music, and games as transitions in the early childhood classroom. Recently Loyan has been focused on science and nature education for young children. She presented a early childhood science curriculum at the 2017 national conference of the National Association for the Education of Young children, and was recently selected to sit on the Teachers Advisory Board of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Ali Chenitz

Ali Chenitz

Co-Teacher and Assistant Director

Ali has been a teacher of the Yellow Room for three- and four-year-olds since joining UPNS in 2007 and in 2019 she assumed the additional role of Assistant Director. She has been teaching children ranging in age from birth to six at public and private schools, including general education, special education and inclusion classes. She graduated from Bank Street College of Education in 2007 with a dual degree and certification in Early Childhood Education and General and Special Education from birth to second grade. Ali enjoys cooking, gardening, and needlepoint.

Jorge Suren

Jorge Suren

Co-Teacher

Jorge joined UPNS in 2013 as an assistant teacher in the Yellow Room. In 2019 he was promoted to co-teacher. Jorge was raised in a large household. Being the oldest of four children helped him learn to be a nurturing leader. He also has a passion for dancing and movement. He has danced in various companies that specializes in New York style Salsa, Hip Hop Jazz and Stepping. Jorge has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and Educational Leadership.

Natalie Siregar

Natalie Siregar

Head Teacher

In 2015, Natalie joined the UPNS team as the Blue Room’s assistant teacher. Coincidentally, Natalie spent 3 years prior teaching in another “Blue Room” at a neighborhood nursery in the upper west side and has experience working with 2-5 year olds in an inclusion classroom setting. Natalie graduated from Hunter College in 2013 with a MS in Early Childhood Education. She lives a hop, skip and a jump from UPNS and is a native of the lower east side where she currently resides. Natalie loves well-crafted children’s books, a good cup of coffee, quiet times and ah-ha moments. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, mentoring amazing teens from her church and exploring new places.

Edna Gonzalez

Edna Gonzalez

Assistant Teacher

Edna celebrated her 25th anniversary as a teacher at UPNS in 2014. Edna is the assistant teacher of the Blue Room for two to three year olds. Many children have benefited from her dedication, experience, skills and knowledge. Edna helps to build a strong community in the classroom, where all the children’s cultures are valued, and she shares her own culture through integrating Spanish into her everyday teaching. Edna studied Early Childhood Education at Jersey City University and Medgar Evers College.

Jacqueline Savage

Jacqueline Savage

Assistant Teacher

Jackie joined UPNS in 2018 as an assistant teacher in the Orange Room.  Previously she worked as an assistant teacher for an age 3 classroom and also served as a nanny for three years. Jackie has dual graduate degrees, as well as certifications in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. As a native New Yorker, Jackie enjoys exploring the city, especially its’ parks and museums. She also loves taking her two young nieces on various urban adventures, like pop up art exhibits or cultural festivals. Aside from children, dogs are Jackie’s other passion. A proud dog mother and a certified dog trainer, Jackie regularly volunteers at her local ASPCA.

Shani Date

Shani Date

Assistant Teacher

Shani joined UPNS in 2020 as an assistant teacher in the Orange Room. She studied Early Childhood Education and Psychology at the University at Buffalo. She has a long history working with young children. She worked as a Camp Counselor for 5 years and recently worked as an Assistant Preschool Teacher for the past two years. Shani loves learning about sustainability and how to preserve our earth. She enjoys cooking and is working on growing her own food. She spends her time going to the movies and trying new foods at restaurants around the city.

Layla Shaar

Layla Shaar

Administrative Director

Layla has been with UPNS since 2007.  She was a blue, yellow and green room parent twice, and served as secretary of the board of trustees.  When her youngest graduated, Layla stayed and joined the UPNS staff.  Her UPNS alumni are now, unbelievably, in middle school and high school.